#Brazil

How Can Crowdsourcing Help Latin America in the Digital Age?

Latin America increasingly uses crowdsourcing to solve social problems in the digital age

Suppose you are a government facing various social crises. Traditionally, you might send out teams of government researchers, create government-led commissions, and hire consultancies. You might host public hearings.  But you wouldn’t bring your problems to the internet “crowd.” Over the last 10-15 years, however, governments and non-governmental organizations in both the developed and developing […]

When Central Bank Autonomy Makes All the Difference

Central Bank autonomy can make all the difference for controlling inflation and providing macroeconomic stability

Since the late 1990s, a broad reform movement has swept Latin America, aimed at granting independence to central banks and freeing them from government pressure to print money to finance government spending. Laws have been passed and constitutions changed to allow independent central banks to focus on the fight against inflation. A more complicated case […]

How Latin American Countries Became World Champions of Happiness

Despite many problems, Latin American countries are champions of happiness

Consider two regions: one ranks high in GDP, equality, government transparency, and health care, the other one lags behind, sometimes by a wide margin. Where do you think people feel more upbeat? The answer is anything but intuitive. Many countries in Latin America knock out Western Europe and other advanced economies with their positive energy. […]

Are Female Politicians More Honest than Male Politicians?

When it comes to honesty, female mayors in Brazil outperform their male peers

Numerous studies show that female politicians on the whole are associated with less corruption than male ones. But Ugo Troiano and I were able to demonstrate the phenomenon with convincing evidence in a published study comparing male and female mayors in Brazil. We found that female mayors were not only less likely to engage in administrative […]

Minimum Wages and the Fight Against Inequality

Fighting inequality with minimum wages depends on gauging the circumstances and timing

Many policymakers say minimum wage hikes are crucial to reducing inequality. They look at Latin America and see abundant evidence, including the fact that in various countries large minimum wage increases during the commodity boom of the 2000s coincided with large inequality declines. There is certainly some truth to the idea. Minimum wage increases during times […]

Does Political Patronage Necessarily Lead to Bad Hiring?

patronage in government doesn't have to lead to incompetent employees

Patronage is among the least loved of political practices, often synonymous with malfeasance and incompetence. Civic and development organizations rail against it. Numerous studies show that merit-based career civil services, as opposed to discretionary ones, are associated with higher economic growth, lower corruption, and better bureaucratic performance. But patronage, the discretionary hiring of people to […]

Protecting Conditional Cash Transfers

the manipulation of conditional cash transfers by politicians in Brazil is a potentially serious problem.

Conditional cash transfers are powerful tools of social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have reduced short-term poverty for tens of millions of people by providing a monthly stipend and have helped break the intergenerational transmission of poverty by linking financial assistance to behaviors that enhance human capital, like school attendance and health […]

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